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New Jersey Sees Uptick In Confirmed Coronavirus Cases, Communities Preparing For Possible 2nd Wave

PATERSON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- New Jersey is seeing an uptick in confirmed coronavirus cases, with back-to-back days above 700.

The Garden State reported 712 cases Sunday, and 760 the day before -- the highest numbers since June.

Of those positive tests, 240 were in Ocean County.

Three more people across the state died from the virus on Sunday.

Several cities are taking action to prepare for a second wave of COVID-19.


Next week, people around Paterson will see a mobile testing unit driving around. It will offer free COVID tests to anyone who wants one, like Lystra Campbell.

"It went well. It was easy. I thought it would've been more complicated," Campbell said.

One of its purposes is to diagnose asymptomatic people who may unknowingly transmit the virus, CBS2's Natalie Duddridge reported.

It does not require appointments and people do not need health insurance to get tested.

"This mobile testing unit, with the team that we've assembled here, will help us continue to crush the curve," Mayor Andre Sayegh said. "We've made headlines, with disease investigation and contact tracing. National headlines, because we've been able to trace 91% of our contacts... At the peak of the pandemic, Paterson had, in one day, April 16, 262 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Yesterday... we had five."

State health officials are keeping a close eye on Bergen, Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean counties, which have the highest number of new cases.

Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday several factors could be to blame.

"I think worshipping, a funeral service recently led to a bunch of cases," Murphy said. "School or school related we've talked about. Sports, but really we think it's still ancillary. It's the ancillary activity that's beside the sport activity, such as the pizza party or the indoor house party. We monitor it and will continue to monitor it."

Most residents Duddridge spoke with said they're worried.

"I work at Lowe's, and my co-workers don't wear masks, and a lot of our customers don't wear masks, and it's kind of scary," said Alex Olszwski, a Bloomingdale resident.

"I try to stay away from a lot of people. I stay close to people that I know," Jamir Belfield added.

To combat the spread, New Jersey sent out 6,000 new test kits and dispatched additional contact tracers.

A contact tracer in Hoboken told CBS2 now is not the time for anyone to let their guard down.

"Another thing that we're seeing an increase in is the number of positive household cases. So, a number of our cases are those that were exposed to somebody who is a laboratory confirmed or probable COVID-19 case," said Lynette Medeiros.

"I think everybody should remain alert," Medeiros added. "We should be concerned that we're seeing a slight uptick. I think we need to be cautious going into flu season that we're also seeing different respiratory illnesses."

Health officials have urged people to get their flu shots this season.

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